By Matthew Jones - Adventure Expect at Universal Dialect
A good mindset is the secret to a good life. It allows us to see the positive side of things and turn the mundane into an adventure, which drives happiness and improves our lives in every way imaginable.
However, sometimes we need a little help to get into this mindset. The stress of our jobs, relationships, and personal obligations can grind us down, and this can lead to overwhelming feelings of negativity, which manifest as sadness, frustration, anger, lethargy, and cynicism, all of which prevent us from being our best selves.
But lucky for us, this world is full of people who are grabbing life, and they are all doing it in different ways. Hearing their stories can elevate our mindset to where it needs to be so that we can drown out negativity and turn life into the adventure it truly is. If you find yourself in need of a boost, here are five people who help us elevate our mindset and teach us to live life to the fullest.
We can thank Shawn Achor for introducing the world to the concept of Positive Psychology. Of course, this field has been around for some time, but Achor’s charismatic demeanor and engaging public speeches have helped millions start to look at life in a different way.
But what exactly is positive psychology?
In short, it’s the idea that if you take steps to improve your mindset and put yourself into a positive space now, then you will perform better in all other areas of your life. It goes against our traditional approach of waiting to be happy until we acquire or achieve certain things, which pushes our well-being beyond the “cognitive horizon,” as Achor puts it.
What’s more is that this stuff isn’t just self-help hogwash. It’s backed up by rigorous scientific studies, and Achor himself has put this research into action which has helped countless people and companies make resounding improvements in productivity, creativity, and engagement.
For us, Achor’s work reminds us why it’s so important to grab life and work to make every day an adventure. Doing this allows us to be happy and positive right here, right now, which boosts our ability to do pretty much everything else and makes life that much more exciting and enjoyable.
Tim Ferriss has attained international fame because of his book, The 4-Hour Work Week, his wide reaching podcast, and his investments in tech companies such as Uber, Facebook, Shopify, among others.. But we don’t consider him an inspiring individual just because of these successes. Instead, he inspires us because of the way he thinks about success.
Ferriss wrote the The 4-Hour Work Week after he took a three-week sabbatical to Europe to break his unhealthy habit of overworking and over-stressing himself to build his business. While there, he began to develop a habit of only responding to emails once a day, and he also began outsourcing lots of his day-to-day tasks to virtual assistants, a move that considerably freed up his time and allowed him to be happier.
What this really teaches us, though, is that we must value our time above all else, and that we don’t have to work ourselves to death to be happy. Our society is addicted to workaholism because we often tie happiness to success, meaning we see it as something we must work to achieve at some point in the future instead of right now.
Work can certainly be rewarding and therapeutic, but you must have a balance, and Tim Ferriss has helped show the world that this balance requires a change in mindset, which can make all the difference.
As one of the world’s richest and most well-known men, you might think Sir Richard Branson makes this list because of his wealth and fame. However, we’re not after wealth and fame. Instead, we’re after ways to grab life, and Branson’s record as an adventurer is tough to beat.
He started making daring adventures back in the 1970s so as to impress his now wife Joan, but in the 1980s, his adventures took on a new purpose: to generate publicity for his airline, Virgin Atlantic. Some of his adventures include:
- Making the fastest boat journey across the Atlantic (something he did after his boat sank on the first attempt)
- Crossing both the Atlantic and the Pacific in a hot-air balloon
- Driving from Dover to Calais in an amphibious vehicle while wearing a tuxedo
- Kiteboarding across the English Channel
But what started as publicity stunts quickly turned into something much more. They became a way for Branson to take care of himself and add fuel to his entrepreneurial fire.
In fact, Branson credits his success as an entrepreneur to his lifestyle as an adventurer and fitness buff because this attention to himself and to the joy that adventure brings helps stimulate creativity and motivate him to push forward in all that he does.
However, to make the most of life, we don’t need to go out and try to set records and put our lives in danger. Instead, we can try new things, explore new areas, and push ourselves to be better, all of which induce an adventurous mindset that will elevate our outlook on life and drive performance in everything we do.
The now-famous author of the Harry Potter series has become an icon for many reasons. For example, she is credited with getting kids back into reading after TV and video games seemed to be taking over, but she also has an incredible story of perseverance that we can all use as motivation.
Her story begins in the early 1990s with her move to Porto, Portugal to teach English. There, she met a her husband, and they soon had a child together. But just a few years later, he became abusive, and Rowling moved back to Scotland after getting a divorce and filing for an Order of Restraint.
From there, she was forced to sign up for state benefits, putting on her application form that she was as “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.” Rowling continued to write throughout all this time as a way to escape some of the challenges she was experiencing, and also to help keep her dream of being an author alive.
Eventually the book was published despite being rejected by the first twelve publishers who saw it, and we all know the rest of the story. But this version of “rags to riches” is about more than just hard work. It’s about perseverance and believing what you value to offer the world. Rowling used writing as a way to remind herself, even in her darkest moments, that she had something to give the world, and that belief allowed her to create one of the most successful and impactful book series ever released.
So, while we can’t all write the next Harry Potter, we can take a lesson from Rowling and enjoy the process of what we do so that we can live better and turn our dreams into reality.
Although she has been involved in some controversies over the years, it’s hard to find a more inspiring person than tennis legend Serena Williams. First off, with a total of 39 major championship wins, 23 in singles (one of which, her 2017 Australian Open victory, came when she was two-months pregnant), 14 in women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles, she is by far one of the most successful athletes of all time.
However, what stands out about Serena Williams is her mindset in the face of doubt and negativity. People frequently qualify her status by saying she is one of the “best female athletes” of all time, an inherently chauvinist statement, and she has continuously received unfair treatment in tournaments for no other reason than that she's a woman.
But despite all of this, Serena has never backed down, and she has chosen to fight this negativity with positivity. One of her most famous quotes is: “I’m really exciting. I smile a lot, I win a lot, and I’m really sexy.”
It would have been easy for Williams to take another road, but she chose not to, and this has helped her career flourish into one of the most successful in sports history. So, the next time life gets you down, remember what Serena did and fight back with positivity and self-love. It’s more effective and it will make you feel a whole lot better.
Who Inspires You?
These five individuals have diverse backgrounds and have done very different things in this world, but each one is living life according to a similar principle: a positive mindset breeds a better life.
At Universal Dialect, we inspire that positive mindset by providing people with an opportunity to grab life and go on an adventure through soccer. But we also know we sometimes need a little help, which is why we look to others for support. These five people have helped us, and we think they can help you, but let us ask: who inspires you?